Member Directory   Members Only   Membership   Contact Us   Recipes   News & Events   
  News & Events

Andy's Dandys: A recipe for success

February 6, 2018

Walking into Andy's Dandys Gourmet Dog Treats in Richmond, Vermont, you're immediately greeted by a smile.  It's beaming from the face of Co-Owner, Andrew Whiteford.

"I love my business," says Andrew.  "It was 2008 and I was 16."

The now 26 year old has watched his business grow, since it's creation in 2008.  Andrew has Down Syndrome and despite challenges, his stellar attitude and ever-present support system has helped him succeed.

"We were thinking about what we were going to do once he got out of high school, and we really didn't know what was on the other side for him," says his mother, Lucie Whiteford.  "He loves his dog Rosie, he loves reading recipes and baking with me, so we decided to create a dog treat business."

The bakery now sells about 200 pounds of dog treats per week and is distributed in roughly 200 different locations across the northeast. 

"He's the best friend, when I'm working he keeps me motivated and tells me I'm doing a great job," says employee Olivia Comeau.  "I have achieved my behavioral instructor, since I'm working to getting a registered behavioral technician certificate, so I can work with other people with intellectual disabilities."

You'll find a mission statement on Andy's Dandys website: "Built on the foundation of creating jobs and meaningful employment for individuals with developmental disabilities."  Lucie and her co-partner, Lesha Rasco, who was also Andrew's special education teacher have a goal.

"We're working to grow internship programs for adults, partnering with businesses who have interest in this and have them go out and do different things," says Rasco.  "The training would not always be to have a job here, but to learn through this company to figure out what you might want to do."

The training program has been active for four years and has graduated three classes.  This, in a state where only 32% of people with cognitive disabilities are part of the workforce.  This reflects Vermont's latest data from 2015, which state health officials say is still accurate.

"We have one young lady who has been with us for seven years, delivering treats to a handful of local retail accounts, and she's on the autism spectrum," says Lucie.  "We have a young man who has a traumatic brain injury and he does a couple of deliveries for us every month or so."

Andrew overcomes that statistic everyday.

"I think Andrew has three jobs, and some of those jobs are actually a little different than this one," says Rasco.

"If you have someone like Andrew and they're really motivated and want to do something, they'll do it," says Lucie.  "You just have to support them and believe they can."

If you're interested in purchasing dog treats, check out their list of gourmet ingredients here:

VSFA Welcomes New Members

It's Tortilla Tuesday in the Test Kitchen

14 Reasons Why We Love Vermont Farmers

7th Local Specialty Crop & Local Food Trade Shows on Monday, March 5, 2018 Northeastern University, Boston, MA

Andy's Dandys: A recipe for success

Fat Toad Farm wins 2018 Good Food Award

Announcing ACORN Workshop on Working with Distributors

Specialty food going 'up and up and up,' says Mintel

Fledgling wine grape industry looks to protect Vermont vines

Good Food Foundation’s 2018 Good Food Awards and Mercantile Celebrate Excellence in Taste, Sustainability, and Social Responsibility

Agriculture Agency Events at The Vermont Farm Show

Supplier Relationships Key to Pricing, Assortment Strategies

Vermont Sugarmakers Reflect on New Challenges

Pints of Passion: Gelato Company Scoops Out Quality Flavors

Announcing the Vermont Specialty Crop Block Grant Program 2018 Request for Proposals!

Localvore expansion to MA and ME is growth model for job creation in VT

Report: Workforce development critical to sustain local food economy

Special thanks to Vermont dairy farmers on National Milk Day

Wonkblog Organic food fraud leads Congress to weigh bill doubling USDA oversight

Gut Health Tops Nutrition Trends for 2018

Up to $60,000 available through Local Food Market Development Grant program

Bennington distiller adds partners

Vermont’s workforce dilemma


Famous Vt. Baking Brand Sees Growth, Thanks in Part to Retail Giant


2018 Good Food Awards Finalists

Specialty Food Category Forecasts

SFA's Trendspotters' Top Trends for 2018

Policy and Communications Director Named at Agriculture

Produce Safety Improvement Grant Program Accepting Applications on November 15

Vermont Village Introduces Apple Cider Drinking Vinegars

FDA publishes more menu labeling guidance

ACORN Producers and Buyers Forum: Conversations Across the Local Food Spectrum

Cabot Creamery chooses FirstLight for data services

Workforce development, business succession plans required for food industry growth

Ag Agency Accepts Applications for Trade Show Assistance Grants

Amazon has slashed seller fees to try to improve its grocery selection online

At Neighborly Farms, Producing Cheddar Is a Family Affair

Community Capital of Vermont receives $1 million for microloans

Gov. Scott Celebrates Vermont’s Farm To School Grant Program With Students

Amazon's Stealth Takeover of Vermont

Vermont Agency of Agriculture Announces $1M in Grant Funding for Farm Capital Equipment Assistance Program

H Kenneth Merritt, Jr selected as ‘Super Lawyer’ for 5th Time


New England Super Lawyers recognizes seven PF+C Attorneys

Vermont businesses generate over $1.8M in total sales at The Big E

Working Lands Financing Conference

What Section 179 Expensing Means for Your Business

Scott signs proclamation designating October as Employee Ownership Month

Working Lands Enterprise Board Announces $750,000 in Available Investments To Help Grow Vermont’s Economy

Vermont Artisan Coffee moves, opens coffee bar to rave reviews

2017-2018 Windham Region CEDS Update

Vt. Governor Proclaims October Farm to School Month, New Grant Opportunities Released

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets Announces Over $1M in Available Grant Funds

New Improvements to State Building Help Showcase Vermont Tradition and Emerging High-Quality Agricultural Products

Apple Season Has Arrived in Vermont – Get Picking!

From Wallflower to Expert Networker

Rooted in Vermont: Uniting all Vermonters around Local Food

Vermont Products Win Big at the 2017 Fancy Food Show

Job Opening: Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund Project Manager

Fuel Your Passion with Lake Champlain Chocolates’ Fifth Limited-Edition Bar for 2017 Burlington Discover Jazz Festival

Cabot receives 2017 Tourism Partner of the Year

2017 sofi Awards Winners

City Market, Onion River Co-op Celebrates Earth Week

Craftsbury Farmers' Market Looking for Vendors

2nd Annual Green Mountain Fair at Manchester seeking Vendors

Maple Syrup Never Tasted So Good

Vermont Artisan Coffee and Tea Makes the Big Move!

City Market Awards Co-Op Patronage Seedling Grants to 8 Local Non -Profits

Cabot Sets World Record for Largest Smoothie!

Vermont Fresh Pasta Celebrating 25 years!

Gringo Jack’s Flaky Chips Verified Non-GMO

Lake Champlain Chocolates to Host New Organic Bar Tastings

Lake Champlain Chocolates Debuts 4 New Organic Bars at Specialty Foods Winter Fancy Food Show

Castleton Crackers Debuts Colorful and Compact New Packaging

Runamok makes Oprah's Favorite Things List

Japanese consumers rave over Vermont products


Vermont Creamery's Non-GMO Cheese Hits the Market

Lake Champlain Chocolates achieves SQF Level 2 Certification

A Tour of Vermont Tortilla Company

Blake Hill opens Windsor plant

Working Lands Enterprise Board Announces $650,000 in Available Grant Funds and Two Innovative New Loan Programs

Lake Champlain Chocolates + Silo Distillery = A match made in heaven

Maple Syrup Breaks Away From Breakfast

US Chocolate Market to Reach $30B

Member Directory    |    Membership    |    Site Map    |    Recipes    |    Contact Us    |    Home
The official web site of the Vermont Specialty Food Association
148 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05602
Phone: 802.839.1930 Email:
©2015 Vermont Specialty Food Association. All rights reserved.

Designed & CMS by Cambium Group, LLC